Looters are targeting evacuated homes in Florida


Millions of residents in Florida were told to evacuate in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma. Three people have now been arrested after they were accused of breaking into two of those evacuated homes.

Marvell Parkinson, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old man were arrested by Polk County Sheriff’s Office, accused of burglarizing an empty Lake Wales, Florida, home.

According to reports, a witness noticed the two suspects at the back of her neighbor’s home on Friday. Although they ran when they noticed her, they were tracked down and arrested.

The 17-year-old suspect, who had a window punch in his pocket, said they’d targeted the residence because it had not been boarded up. They entered through a back door, according to reports.

Both suspects have criminal histories, including burglary, grand theft and possession of marijuana.

They face multiple charges including burglary of an occupied dwelling during a state of emergency, resisting arrest without violence and unarmed burglary of a residence.

Parkinson was additionally charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd addressed the arrests in a press release.

“We want everyone to be safe during the hurricane,” Judd said. “And we will not tolerate thieves taking advantage of those evacuating their homes. Looters need to be prepared to go to jail if they try to take advantage of people during a state of emergency.”

In addition to the two Polk County thieves, another looter has also been arrested. 30-year-old Keith Adams was caught burglarizing Atlantic Hardscapes in St. Lucie on Saturday, caught by a member of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, who was patrolling shuttered homes in the area.

“‘I have said over and over that we will not tolerate looting or price gouging,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. “We have deputies actively patrolling the county, including our beach communities, to ensure the safety and security of your homes and businesses.

“If you think you are going to take advantage of these evacuated properties, be prepared to spend the storm at the county jail.”


JUST IN: More arrests



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